Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Pics to Share

I wanted to email these to my family, but for some reason I could not get them to attach. So, I thought I would share them with EVERYONE!



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The wisdom of a Mother

This was my second Mother’s Day that I have been able to enjoy as a mommy. It has quickly become one of my favorite days of the year…. A whole day devoted to spoiling MOMS! Being a mom is so much more than I ever expected it to be… more work, more responsibility, and more rewarding. Every day I find myself thinking, “It is so fun to have a new level of friendship with my mom.” There are ways that I could not relate to her until I had a child myself. I also find myself constantly thanking God for a mom who had a wonderful way of teaching me everything I needed to know before I was grown, such as keeping house, grocery shopping, gardening, being frugal… the list goes on and on. I find myself looking forward to teaching Kyndra everything my mom taught me. As a Mother’s Day tribute (a few days late) I thought I would take a minute and share some important traits my mom exemplifies.

My mother is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. She recognizes the value of rest and relaxation, but they always come after the labor. As a child, I remember her spending HOURS keeping our two acres looking beautiful. Now that I have a yard of my own, I am realizing what a feat that was! She reminds me so much of the woman in Proverbs 31 whose “candle goeth not out by night”… I don’t think my mom’s candle EVER goes out!

My mom is a great teacher. I believe that God gave her the talent of being an incredible educator. She has no formal training in this profession, and yet she can teach better than some folks I have met who have a Master’s degree in teaching! She is creative and witty, a marvelous combination. I can remember mom using this talent to teach me the value of money. She would give us all of the coupons from the Sunday paper and tell us that the amount of money she saved with the coupons would go to us. You have never seen two kids try harder to convince their mom that she needed an obscure item like denture cleaner—we had coupons! Now that I am grown, I am thankful for her creativity. I get some great deals with coupons!

My mother has a heart for others. She is always looking for a way to brighten the day of a person going through a hard time. Nearly every time I have been shopping with her there is something in the cart for somebody else. She writes cards, sends emails, and even sent HUGE care packages while I was in college. She wanted to make sure that my roomies had good food too!

I think that the greatest lesson my mom taught me was how to choose my priorities. When my sister and I were small, she quit her well-paying job to stay home with us. As young children, we had no idea what a sacrifice that was for her. It meant that she rarely got “new” things, and Goodwill became her favorite department store. My mother is a smart, capable woman. I am sure that at times she felt like the career of being a homemaker was a step down from what she could have been doing. She never made us feel like we were keeping her from greater things; instead, she made us feel like we were the most important “things” in her life. Trying to juggle all of your responsibilities can be daunting and difficult. I had the most wonderful example to teach me how to establish my priorities. As a matter of fact, the title of my blog is really a testimony of my mom’s teaching: Faith, Family, and Friends… in that order.

Thanks, mom, for the millions of lessons I didn’t have time to write about. I love you!

AND NOW…. The Mother-in-Law!
I want to take just a moment and mention what an incredible mother-in-law I have….

Karen Graham has taught me more through her perseverance than anyone else on earth. When her husband was taken from her, her whole family suffered. The children lost their father, the church lost their pastor, but she lost her husband. The children grew up and got married, and the church got a new pastor. Karen still has to daily deal with the absence of a husband. She is real and transparent. It is difficult. And yet, even through her difficulty, she continues to love God. She finds humor in everything and makes everyone laugh with her quick jokes. Even when the rug was pulled out from underneath her, she found the strength to raise three AMAZING children. (Of course, her oldest is my favorite!) Through her life, I have learned to walk with God now and have a good, strong relationship with Him so that I can make it through whatever trials I might face.

Thanks, Mama G, for the greatest gift you could give a person—your son, Joshua. You did such a great job raising a man!